Girls soccer: Barrington blanks Elgin to win regional crown
DeKALB -- Location, location, location.
For Barrington High School, its unique location of being situated a short distance from the intersection where Cook, Lake, McHenry, and Kane counties meet can create some rather interesting postseason assignment from time to time.
Case in point would be the assignment for the two-time defending Class 3A state champion Fillies girls soccer team.
They were grouped into the Rockford Guilford sectional complex and sent 47 miles southwest of their campus to DeKalb High School for regional play to begin their attempt at a state title three-peat.
So far that attempt is off to a good start as the Fillies overcame a pugnacious challenge from a 14-win Elgin team to post a 5-0 victory Friday.
The win sends top-seeded Barrington (18-1-1) on a 56-mile trip to Guilford, located on Rockford's northeast side, for a 4:30 p.m. Tuesday sectional semifinal versus the winner of Saturday morning's Huntley regional final between No. 4 South Elgin (13-3-3) and the fifth-seeded host school (10-8-2).
"We moved the ball around really well I thought," Barrington coach Ryan Stengren said as a late downpour hit DeKalb in the game's closing minutes. "Our goal is to be a little bit better in finishing, but I'm pretty happy with the result."
In earning its 11th straight regional crown, the Fillies set the tone of the match from the beginning on both sides of the pitch.
On the offensive end, sophomore midfielder Jen Devona connected on the first of two scores just 70 seconds into the game. Junior Tina Teik made it 2-0 in the 11th minute of play as the first half was mostly played on the Maroons' side of the pitch as Barrington attempted 15 shots on goal compared to 1 for Elgin.
The score remained that way until Devona's second score with just 28 ticks left until halftime gave the Fillies a 3-0 advantage.
Devona's fellow junior midfield mate Rebecca Shomaker made it 4-0 in the sixth minute of the second half.
Sophomore Lara Lubinsky closed out the scoring with a late goal in the 76th minute of play.
Defensively, the Fillies held Elgin to just 3 total shots on goal in registering their 12th shutout of the year.
Elgin sophomore goalkeeper Joanna Mercado kept the Maroons in the contest with a 15-save performance on net for the Maroons, who finished the year at 14-10-1.
Stengren praised both Mercado as well as Elgin's effort.
"She's pretty good," Stengren said of the Maroon goalie. "Elgin did play really hard. Hats off to them for that."
In regards to the hope of two more long road trips next week, Devona and her teammates look to once again apply a simple formula.
"You kind of have to block out what's going on in your daily life and zone in on the game," she said.